Yesterday was a bit warmer (for a while) than it has been and the wind shifted direction (for a while) which meant my side of the Island was calmer than it has been. The whole scallop fleet stays closer to the shore when the big winds blow which, on days when my Cove is accessible, means I have a lot of boats right in front of me.
Today, though, I’d like to tell you about Monday. It was just the day before I took these first two images and it was miserable – big, big winds and slush was falling from the sky.
The wind was so bad that most of the boats tied up for the night at one of 3 places around the Island (Welshpool, North Road, or Jackson’s) rather than trying to get back to Head Harbour.
The difficulty with returning to their regular wharf was a direct result of the impact of the wind on the waters around the Lighthouse – something which would have to be navigated successfully to make it home.
The next photo was taken Monday at approximately the same location as the one above. It was the leeward side of the Lighthouse at that time.
The really big waves were on the other side – over 20 feet high. I know this because I joined a group of fishermen who went down to watch Aaron sail around the Point to get back to Head Harbour.
One other boat had done it earlier, when the wind/waves weren’t quite as bad. That Captain said his boat had never “hit the waves” as hard as it did on that trip. Aaron has the biggest boat in the fleet and he’s known to be a good Captain. Still, it was not expected that he would have it easy. He didn’t.
We stood on a ledge, in the cold wind and slush, and watched as his boat disappeared down into troughs and then bounced back on top of those waves. This is not a great shot obviously but consider the elements, my hands, and a battery which kept succumbing to the low temperatures.
I was horrified to be honest. The men around me explained that this stretch of water is the worst in the entire Bay but not to worry – he knows what he’s doing.
The next photo is of the boat heading up the channel having successfully made it around the Lighthouse. As you can see, it might be the biggest boat in the fleet, but it’s not that big.
Yesterday a crew member on a friend’s boat asked me if I was going to go out with them. I think the answer to that is obvious. 🙂